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Practices in University Teaching Skills Certificate

The Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning offers a certificate in Practices in University Teaching Skills designed to help undergraduate Learning Assistants develop evidence-based instructional strategies to support peers.

The Practices In University Teaching Skills Certificate is for all undergraduate students hired to serve as Learning Assistants for a course.  During the fall semester, participants attend 5 workshops addressing basic pedagogical considerations relevant to peer support.  Topics include (but are not limited to) the following:  creating an equitable and welcoming learning environment; listening and questioning techniques; building relationships and rapport with peer learners; integrating learning theories into deliberate practice.  

Students who participate in all five workshops and complete a reflection essay will be eligible to receive a Practices In University Teaching Skills Certificate from the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at Saint Louis University.


  • Introduce an overview of effective pedagogical practices that support peer learning provided by Learning Assistants.
  • Examine how Learning Assistants may utilize metacognitive learning strategies to help peer learners develop intellectual curiosity and educational independence.
  • Explore how evidence-based teaching practices can help Learning Assistants create inclusive and equitable teaching and learning experiences.


In order to participate in the Practices in University Teaching Skills Certificate, students must be hired by their respective academic departments to serve as Learning Assistants.  Once hired by an academic department, interested students should communicate with their faculty advisor their intention to participate in this certificate. Students will be responsible for their attendance.

  • Understand how Learning Assistants provide academic support to peer learners through guided questioning, thoughtful presence, and the creation of relevant learning resources.
  • Understand and communicate to peers metacognitive learning strategies that support learning.
  • Develop and utilize an inclusive lens when supporting peer learning.
  • Collaborate with fellow LA peers to support various instructional approaches and materials.
  • Provide thoughtful feedback for your peer LAs.
  • Reflect on and articulate the learning process of your peers and of yourself.

To earn the Practices in University Teaching Skills Certificate, participants must attend all of the Learning Assistant University Teaching Skills sessions.  Participants must also complete one reflection paper based on their experience as Learning Assistants.

The Reflection on Learning Assistant Pedagogy is a narrative-type essay (at least one page long) in which you reflect critically on how the pedagogical topics within the series informed, changed, or influenced your work as a Learning Assistant.  The reflection should also help you identify ways you can use what you have learned in the future.  More information about the reflective essay will be provided to attendees. (Reflective Paper Description) 

For more information contact: